One of the most characteristic features of the modern development ofhumanity is a sharp increasingtrend towards integration, mutual influence and cooperation andinternationalization of world processes.
A new stage ofdevelopment marks the transition from enclave civilizations, whichalmost did not interact with each other, towards the desire tointensify inter-civilization contacts. This turn of universal history is connected, first of all, with thevital activity of European civilization, the existence of whichrequired constant self-reproduction and expansion.The last circumstance has found its manifestation in colonialexpansion and the creation of a single system of world economy,without which the modern order of the world would not have arisen.Therefore, without comprehension of the phenomena that took place inthe colonial era, it is impossible to fully understand complex andcontradictory processes occurring in the modern era. This raises theneed to study and rethink colonization processes, their impact on thelife of all countries and nations that were part of this process.Also, mutual contacts should be viewed not as a unidirectionalaction, but as a dialogue of different cultures and differentcivilizations, which, voluntarily or involuntarily, significantlyintensified the processes of interaction and mutual influence ofrepresentatives of different cultures, civilizations and religions.
Very important and promising for historians is the thesis of themutual influence of all cultures. None of them is isolated and pure.All cultures are hybrid, heterogeneous and highly differentiated andnon-monolithic. The empires of the past have been affected by allstates, imperialism has made the world closer. Therefore, theimperial context should not be ignored during the studying of thedevelopment and interaction of cultures. So, I would like to focus now on Britishimperialism specifically in India. And, firstly, i will begin withwhat imperialism is, how did the British come to rule India, positiveand negative effects of imperialism and after the reflection ofimperialism in Kipling’s To be Filed for Reference (“PlainTales from the Hills”, 1888).So, the definition.
Imperialism is apolicy, in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countriespolitically, economically or socially. In simple words – it’s whena country goes outside of their boundaries and takes over anotherterritory or another country. The British economic interest in Indiabegan in the 1600s with the British East India Company. Thisestablishes sort of the beginning of British colonialism in differentterritories. Part of why did the British come to rule India– the Mughal dynasty India began to crumble. So in a lot of sensewas sort of ripe for the taking. The country didn’t have strongleadership, the country itself was very weakened so historically itwas the perfect time period for the British to move in and to tryoccupy India or take it over. So, from 1757 to 1858, the British East IndiaCompany was the leading power in India.
They moved in with theirsuperior ships, weapons and government. They were able to establishcontrol in India.The area controlled by the East India Companygrew, eventually controlled Bangladesh, most of southern India, andterritory along the Ganges River. Sepoys (or Indian soldiers) made upa large part of the East India Company army. The Governor of Bombayreferred to the sepoy army as a “delicate and dangerous machine,which a little mismanagement may easily turn against us”.
Probably, it is wrong to divide the imperial intentions and thenational culture of the metropole. It should be considered as awhole. It is also wrong to consider fiction out of the internationalcontext, out of the history of society. Literature participated inthe expansion, it created a certain moral climate for it. At the end of the XIX century, there were a lot of works aboutempires.
Through works of fiction the history became accessible to awide range of readers. Most humanists – authors of the XIX centurycould not explain the connection between the practice of slavery,colonialism and racism with the poetry, prose and philosophy of thesociety that carried out this practice. But critics often cut offsuch themes from the “sublime” culture.
Imperialism is thecultural artifact of bourgeois society. Imperialism and fictioncomplemented each other. The works of Henry Haggard, Rudyard Kipling,Joseph Conrad, Edward Morgan Forster, Arthur Conan Doyle along withthe works of ethnographers, economists, historians played a big rolein the formation of imperial psychology. For the British Empire and its cultural development the interactionof Western and Eastern civilizations was of particular importancebecause its main colony, India, was a vivid representativeof Asian culture. Although India gained independence in 1947, thedispute over how to assess the joint history of Britain and India isstill actual.
There is an opinion that imperialism has disfigured anddestroyed Indian life so much that even after decades ofindependence, the Indian economy, adapted in the past to the needs ofBritain, continues to suffer. On the other hand, a number of Britishhistorians, public figures and politicians believe that thedestruction of the Empire was pernicious for both the British and theIndians. Problems of mutual relations and clashes of East and West inIndia, understanding of the “alien” culture have alwaysoccupied the minds of many British scientists and cultural figures,and Rudyard Kipling (Dec. 30.12.1865,Bombay, India – 18.01.
1936, London, Eng.) takes a special placeamong them.Joseph Rudyard Kipling isan English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chieflyremembered for his celebration of British imperialism, his tales andpoems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Hereceived the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.Rudyard Kipling was the first born child ofJohn Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling, who had settled in Indiaearlier that year. His father was a professor of architecturalsculpture; on his mother’s side there was a brace of distinguishedAunts and Uncles for the boy. One Aunt was the mother of StanleyBaldwin, future Prime Minister; another was married to Sir EdwardBurne-Jones, the distinguished Pre-Raphelite Painter. He wrote aboutthe Anglo-Indian society, which he readily criticized with an acidpen and the life of the common British soldier and the Indian native,which he portrayed accurately and sympathetically.
In 1889 Kiplingtook a long voyage through China, Japan, and the United States. Whenhe reached London, he found that his stories had preceded him andestablished him as a brilliant new author. He was readily acceptedinto the circle of leading writers.
While there he wrote a number ofstories and some of his best-remembered poems: “A Ballad of Eastand West,” “Mandalay,” and “The English Flag.”He also introduced English readers to a new type of serious poems inCockney dialect: “Danny Deever,” “Tommy,””Fuzzy-Wuzzy,” and “Gunga Din.”In 1897 the Kiplings settled in Rottingdean, avillage on the British coast near Brighton. The outbreak of theSpanish-American War (1898; a short war between Spain and the UnitedStates over lands including Cuba and the Philippines) and the BoerWar (1899–1902; a war between Great Britain and South Africa)turned Kipling’s attention to colonial affairs. He began to publish anumber of solemn poems in standard English in the London Times. Themost famous of these, “Recessional” (July 17, 1897), issueda warning to Englishmen to regard their accomplishments in theDiamond Jubilee (fiftieth) year of Queen Victoria’s (1819–1901)reign with humility and awe rather than pride and arrogance. Theequally well-known “White Man’s Burden” (February 4, 1899)clearly expressed the attitudes toward the empire that are implied inthe stories in The Day’s Work (1898) and A Fleet in Being (1898).Kiplingreferred to less highly developed peoples as “lesser breeds”and considered order, discipline, sacrifice, and humility to be theessential qualities of colonial rulers.
These views have beendenounced as racist (believing that one race is better than others),elitist (believing oneself to be a part of a superior group), andjingoistic (pertaining to a patriot who speaks in favor of anaggressive and warlike foreign policy). But for Kipling, the term”white man” indicated citizens of the more highly developednations. He felt it was their duty to spread law, literacy, andmorality throughout the world.Duringthe Boer War, Kipling spent several months in South Africa, where heraised funds for soldiers’ relief and worked on an army newspaper,the Friend. In 1901 Kipling published Kim, the last and most charmingof his portrayals of Indian life. But anti-imperialist reactionfollowing the end of the Boer War caused a decline in Kipling’spopularity.WhenKipling published The Five Nations, a book of South African verse, in1903, he was attacked in parodies (satirical imitations), caricatures(exaggerations for comic effect), and serious protests as theopponent of a growing spirit of peace and democratic equality.
Kipling retired to “Bateman’s,” a house near Burwash, asecluded village in Essex.Kiplingnow turned from the wide empire as his subject to simply Englanditself. In 1902 he published Just So Stories for Little Children. Healso issued two books of stories of England’s past— Puck of Pook’sHill (1906) and Rewards and Fairies (1910). Like the Jungle Booksthey were intended for young readers but were suitable for adults aswell. His most significant work at this time was a number of volumesof short stories written in a different style—”Traffics andDiscoveries” (1904), “Actions and Reactions” (1904),”A Diversity of Creatures” (1917), “Debits andCredits” (1926), and “Limits and Renewals” (1932).Kipling’slater stories treat more complex, subtle, and somber (serious)subjects.
They reflect Kipling’s darkened worldview following thedeath of his daughter, Josephine, in 1899, and the death of his son,John, in 1915. Consequently, these stories have never been as popularas his earlier works. But modern critics, in reevaluating Kipling,have found a greater power and depth that make them among his bestwork.In 1907Kipling became the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize inLiterature. He died on January 18, 1936, and is buried in WestminsterAbbey in London, England. His autobiography, Something of Myself, waspublished in 1937.RudyardKipling’s early stories and poems about life in colonial India madehim a great favorite with English readers. Amis, hisbiographer and a writer himself writes, “Kiplingwas an authoritarian in the sense that he was not a democrat.
To him,a parliament was a place where people with no knowledge of things asthey were could dictate to the men who did real work, and couldchange their dictates at whim. His ideal was a feudalism that hadnever existed, a loyal governed class freely obeying incorrupt,conscientious governors. He was vague about how you became agovernor: you probably (as in the Empire) just found you were one.Nevertheless, birth, influence, money, educational status and thelike must not count as qualifications for leadership. Merit,competence and a sense ofresponsibility were what did count: ‘thejob belongs to the man who can do it’. As George Orwell pointedout, Kipling was further from being a fascist than can easily beimagined in a period when totalitarianism – a very different thingfrom authoritarianism – is accepted as a possibly valid or evendesirable system. Kingsley Amis, RudyardKipling and his world. Thames& Hudson Ltd, 1975, p.
52Kiplingwas an imperialist. He accepted the Empire as it stood and heapproved the annexation of Upper Burma. His position has beenexplained semi-mystically the Empire was justified because itfostered virtue in its administrators and psychologically the Empirewas attractive because it was an island of security in a turbulent,hostile universe. ButAlan Sandison, one of the most famous Kipling’s critics, analyzed theconnection of literature and imperialism in The Wheel of Empire(1967), a group of essays on Haggard, Kipling, Conrad, and Buchan,explored the “nature and function of the imperial idea” intheir respective works.
Treating each figure as a special case,Sandison suggests that imperialism exists as something quite separatefrom the creative writer, something outside, to which the writerresponds in a distinctly personal way. “Given the imperialidea”, he says of Kipling, “he reacted in the way any artistwould-by finding in it a means through which to express his ownartistic vision”.Kipling’s vision, according to Sandison, is the”awareness of man’s essential isolation… illumined in theimperial alien’s relationship to his hostile environment.”Sandison does not hold imperialism even partially responsible forhelping to create isolation or fragmentation; it merely clarifies analready existent situation. Sandison thinks it “unfortunate.
..that Kipling chose the physical context of a political idea’ toexpress his own singular vision, because his support of Empire”concealed the fact that, fundamentally he was not writing toexpress the idea of empire.” Wendy R. Katz.
Rider Haggard andthe Fiction of Empire: A Critical Study of British imperial fiction,Cambridge, 1987, p.3-4Now I would like to focus on “To BeFiled for Reference”. Thisstory was first published in “Plain Tales from the Hills” (1888),a collection of stories of life in India. It is the last of theforty stories in the collection. The plot of the story: McIntoshJellaludin, an Englishman educated at Oxford and formerly a brilliantscholar, has ‘gone native’, marrying a native woman and becoming aconvert to Islam as well as (somewhat inconsistently) taking todrink: “a tall well-built, fair man, fearfully shakenwith drink, and he looked nearer fifty than thirty-five, which, hesaid, was his real age.” The narrator happens on him one night in the Sultan Caravanserai,drunk and helpless, helps him home to his filthy lodgings where helives with a native woman, becomes his friend, and listens to hisramblings as he dies of pneumonia, brought on by drink. Before hisdeath, McIntosh bequeaths the narrator the manuscript of his book,Mother Maturin, which may or may not be a masterpiece of low life inIndia. This was the title – and indeed the theme – of Kipling’s firstattempt at a novel, of which he had written over 200 pages in 1885,but never completed.
Some criticssuppose that this story is not just a part of Kipling’s life inIndia. It contains more than a trace of autobiography. Like allEnglishmen, he perceives a mystery in India which he desires topenetrate, but equally he believes, like all Englishmen, that to doso is to lose oneself. Another figure that fascinates him is the”loafer” or white man ‘gone native’, like McIntosh Jellaludin in”To Be Filed for Reference”.
McIntosh, it is hinted, haspenetrated some of the mysterious of the East, but he pays the pricein degradation and death. The brash young Kipling appears to promiseus Jellaludin’s ‘manuscript’ at a future date but, as with ‘MotherMaturin’, the promise was ne er fulfilled. Much as Kipling may havegot to know India as a journalist such a promise could never reallybe fulfilled, because India was understood to be necessarily alienand incomprehensible to Western minds; and as Kipling usuallyunderstood quite clearly, the Empire rested on a belief in thatunbridgeable gulf. Yet it remains true that he, more thanany other writer, explored the relationship between the British andIndia. Mark Pafford. Kipling’s Indian Fiction, PalgavreMacmillan, 1989, p.54.By every Anglo-Indian standard he has failed utterly.
And yet he hascaptured Kipling’s imagination: the conversations between McIntoshand the reporter suggest in a curious way that two conflictingimpulses in Kipling himself are debating against one another.McIntosh embodies that part of Kipling’s mind for which therestraints of Anglo-Indian life were intolerablyburdensome…McIntosh is enviable to the extent that he has seen tothe bottom of Indian life, and can therefore laugh at Strickland asan ignorant man. He is enviable as the author of ‘Mother Maturin’,the novel Kipling had begin but was never to complete.
Norman Page.A Kipling Companion, MacmillanPress London, 1984, p.130